d12, Dungeons & Dragons, Fantasy, House Rules, Labyrinth Lord, postaday2011, Random Tables, Random Thursday, RPG
Many armies carry standards into battle in most fantasy settings. It makes it easier for commanders to figure out where their troops are, and also gives the troops a point to rally towards and keep themselves from becoming completely lost in the confusion of warfare.
Standards see a lot of use in Warhammer miniature play, but not enough use in most of my D&D games. One of the things I love about the Arcanis setting from Paradigm Concepts is the Coryani Empire, which is basically a fantasy version of the legendary period of the Roman Empire – military standards and all.
However, standards can also be useful for an adventuring party, particularly one that has many henchmen or retainers. A good banner can raise morale (or lower it if fallen or captured) as well as providing a rallying point should morale break.
In game terms for Labyrinth Lord or B/X Dungeons & Dragons, a standard is treated as a staff – it can be held in one hand, but requires two if you are trying to use it as a weapon (not a great idea, they are awkward and thus only deal 1d6 damage). Typically it is held in the off-hand instead of a shield. Anyone who serves under a banner gains a +1 bonus to morale when they can see it, but also suffer a -2 penalty to morale if they see it fall.
There are, of course, many varieties of banners and standards – crack out those d12s to find out more.
Random Standard Type (d12)
- Animal and Symbol
- Animal and Banner
- Symbol and Banner
- Animal, Symbol and Banner
- Two Symbols
- Two Symbols and Banner
- d4+1 Symbols
- d4+1 Symbols and Banner
- Animal and d4+1 Symbols
Animal Type (d12)
- Roll for Wandering Monster
Symbol Type (d12)
- Number (roll d12)
- Number (roll d100)
- Hand, Open
- Hand, Grasping
- Heraldric Shield
- Arcane Symbol
- Holy Symbol
- Structure (Castle, Temple, etc)
Banner Type (d12)
- Roll on Symbol Table
- Roll twice on Symbol Table
- Roll thrice on Symbol Table
- Roll on Animal Table
- Roll on Animal Table and Symbol Table
- Profile of a great leader
- Profile of a deity
- Stylized map of a country, county or region
Only roll on the next table if you want a magic item. Most standards are non-magical, but some ancient standards have served armies over the ages and have been imbued with great powers.
Magical Standards (d12)
- Casts bless 1d3/day
- Casts remove fear 1d3/day
- Casts bane (reverse of bless) 1d3/day
- Glows with continual light only when held aloft
- Grants +2 bonus on attempts to turn undead by the bearer
- Grants +1 Charisma to the bearer
- Bearer is protected by a shield spell at all times
- Casts protection from evil 10′ radius 1d2/day
- Grants protection from evil to bearer
- Roll as a random wand
- Roll as a random staff
- Roll again twice
Our 4e-Group in our own Points of Light world carried a Battle Standard of Might with their party’s symbol. A silver sun rising above a silver sword and they name “Knights of the Silver Dawn”. I love to carry around this thing and make a reputation.
Excellent post as always… reminds me of the plotline on the HBO “Rome” miniseries surrounding recovery of the stolen standard. I hadn’t really thought of using it for adventuring parties, but it could be a very cool addition once the characters start reaching name level and building fortresses.
Neat stuff. I think you should add a chart for the material the symbol or animal, and maybe another for the banner.
Very Nice stuff here, I never thought of using standards in D&D, now I will be looking into, especially for outdoor adventures…..still not sure about their use in a dungeon setting….but ya never know.
I’ve ported the idea of this over to the RandomTableWiki.
Roll It here: http://www.randomtablewiki.com/rolltable.rtw?RollRequest=%5BThing/Banner%5D
View the wiki: https://sites.google.com/a/paladinpgm.com/randomtablewiki/randomtables/thing/banner
You should make some more tables. I have seen the others, but I want moar. Also you have horse twice under animals.
Dyson Logos said:
Thanks. I was using these again recently and agree.
Horse is there twice on purpose, to make it more frequent.